Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive in Tonga after unveiling statue of SAS hero in Fiji


Updated

October 25, 2018 17:41:19

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived in the tiny Pacific kingdom of Tonga after taking a short flight from Fiji, where they spent the morning unveiling a statue of a British-Fijian SAS sergeant.

Key points:

  • Prince Harry and Meghan attended an official ceremony in Fiji today
  • Harry unveiled a new statue to British-Fijian Sergeant Talaiasi Labala in Nadi
  • Harry and Meghan are now in Tonga, and will head back to Sydney to officially close the Invictus Games

Prince Harry and wife Meghan were greeted at the airport in Tonga by Princess Angelika Latufuipeka.

People gathered wearing traditional outfits, playing guitars and singing at the airport to welcome the Royal couple.

Harry and Meghan were scheduled to meet with Tonga’s King and Queen and to attend a reception and dinner with traditional Tongan entertainment.

Prior to their arrival in Tonga, Prince Harry and Meghan attended an official ceremony in Nadi.

During the ceremony Harry unveiled a statue commemorating Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba — a British-Fijian soldier who lost his life in the 1972 Battle of Mirbat.

Labalaba helped save other soldiers by single-handedly firing a 25-pound gun that usually took several soldiers to operate, according to the BBC.

He continued for more than two hours, even after his jaw was shot off, before he was eventually shot and killed.

A member of the elite SAS group, his heroics were not widely known until recently because the British weren’t officially involved in the conflict.

Harry and Meghan are 10 days into a 16-day tour of the South Pacific.

On Wednesday, Meghan, who is four months’ pregnant, was rushed through an indoor market in Fiji where crowds arrived to greet her and gave a speech about attending university.

Harry and Meghan have a relatively light schedule in Tonga before they return to Sydney on Friday night for the final days of the Invictus Games, which Harry founded in 2014.

The Games give sick and injured military personnel and veterans the opportunity to compete in sports such as wheelchair basketball.

Tonga, home to just 106,000 people, is also known as the friendly islands.

It was a British protectorate before gaining independence in 1970 and remains a part of the Commonwealth group of nations.

After Australia, the couple will finish their trip with a four-day visit to New Zealand.

Topics:

royal-and-imperial-matters,

human-interest,

lifestyle-and-leisure,

tonga,

fiji

First posted

October 25, 2018 17:40:14



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